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Puri calls on protesting farmers to resume talks with the Center | India News


CHANDIGARH: Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday he called on protesting farmers to resume talks with the central government to discuss their “genuine” demands, saying this is not the time to remain “inflexible.”
Addressing a virtual ‘kisan sammelan’, he claimed that the government led by Narendra Modi was taking various measures in the interest of the farming community.
“We are ready to have conversations with them (the farmers) to discuss their true demands. We are ready to find a solution to this problem, but it is necessary for the farmer brothers to join the conversations again and present their points face to face, ”he said.
Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and elsewhere have been protesting near various Delhi border points, including Singhu and Tikri, for more than fifteen days demanding that the Center repeal three new agricultural laws.
The housing and urban affairs minister said the Center had provided assurances on the issues of the minimum support price (MSP) and the mandi system, as well as dispute resolution to agitated farmers.
“If you have anything else to discuss, then come. But this is not the time to remain inflexible, ”he said in an apparent reference to farmers’ demand to repeal farm laws.
Puri said that everyone has the right to protest in a democracy.
“But there is also a way to protest. If they bring tractors near the national capital, that is not a protest, “he said.
In particular, the Center had proposed to provide “written assurances” that the current PEM regime for acquisitions would continue.
The government had also proposed making the necessary modifications on at least seven issues, including one to allay fears about the weakening of the mandi system.
However, farmers’ bodies have been seeking to have all three farm laws repealed while rejecting the government’s proposals.
Meanwhile, Puri praised farmers in Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh for leading the Green Revolution through their hard work.
He urged the leaders of the Punjab BJP to sit down with farmers and ask them if they think they will get relief from the government’s proposed amendments.
Punjab BJP Chief Ashwani Sharma said that the BJP-led government in the Center is always with the farmers.
“But some people are playing politics on this issue,” he alleged.
Puri said the agricultural budget under the BJP-led regime grew six times to 1.34 lakh crore rupees in the past six years.
Food grain production, which was 251 million tonnes in 2015-16, is now around 296 million tonnes, it added.

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